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Troubleshooting product

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March 2, 2005 3:49:02 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Does anyone know the name of that troubleshooting product Newegg.com sells?
It's suppose to tell if you have a dead mobo.

I need to figure out if I have a dead mobo.
Anonymous
March 2, 2005 7:19:20 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

"Ryan" <Ryan@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:B5170A8A-D94D-46B9-A2CB-04BEEA8F948B@microsoft.com...
> Does anyone know the name of that troubleshooting product Newegg.com
> sells?
> It's suppose to tell if you have a dead mobo.
>
> I need to figure out if I have a dead mobo.

I've never seen a PCI diagnostic card that actually helped diagnose
anything. I've tried every brand I could find. I hope someone proves me
wrong. It would sure be a lot faster than trial and error :-) A good digital
voltmeter can sometimes help diagnosing a power supply problem. Other than
that it's a matter of replacing parts. The more experience you have the more
likely you are to get it right with the first part. To diagnose motherboards
can get a little expensive. It's easier to replace everything else one at a
time to eliminate them until the only thing left is the motherboard.

Kerry Brown
KDB Systems
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 12:05:53 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Ryan wrote:

> Does anyone know the name of that troubleshooting product Newegg.com sells?
> It's suppose to tell if you have a dead mobo.
>
> I need to figure out if I have a dead mobo.


Cyberguys has a TechAid Diagnostic PCI Card (Part # 204-0494) for
$34.95, if that is what you are looking for.
Related resources
March 3, 2005 12:05:54 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Michael,

Will this product detect a dead mobo? My led is showing green, but I want to
know if it will detect a dead mobo.


"Michael W. Ryder" wrote:

> Ryan wrote:
>
> > Does anyone know the name of that troubleshooting product Newegg.com sells?
> > It's suppose to tell if you have a dead mobo.
> >
> > I need to figure out if I have a dead mobo.
>
>
> Cyberguys has a TechAid Diagnostic PCI Card (Part # 204-0494) for
> $34.95, if that is what you are looking for.
>
>
Anonymous
March 3, 2005 2:28:33 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Ryan wrote:

> Michael,
>
> Will this product detect a dead mobo? My led is showing green, but I want to
> know if it will detect a dead mobo.
>
>
The description says that it shows the POST codes during boot up. It
will also identify failed components, DRAM errors, and even a failing
power supply. I haven't used the device personally so I can't say how
good it is.


> "Michael W. Ryder" wrote:
>
>
>>Ryan wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Does anyone know the name of that troubleshooting product Newegg.com sells?
>>>It's suppose to tell if you have a dead mobo.
>>>
>>>I need to figure out if I have a dead mobo.
>>
>>
>>Cyberguys has a TechAid Diagnostic PCI Card (Part # 204-0494) for
>>$34.95, if that is what you are looking for.
>>
>>
Anonymous
March 4, 2005 10:28:38 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

"Kerry Brown" <kerry@kdbNOSPAMsystems.c*o*m> wrote in message news:<#nZ5Ha4HFHA.896@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl>...
> "Ryan" <Ryan@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> news:B5170A8A-D94D-46B9-A2CB-04BEEA8F948B@microsoft.com...
> > Does anyone know the name of that troubleshooting product Newegg.com
> > sells?
> > It's suppose to tell if you have a dead mobo.
> >
> > I need to figure out if I have a dead mobo.
>
> I've never seen a PCI diagnostic card that actually helped diagnose
> anything. I've tried every brand I could find. I hope someone proves me
> wrong. It would sure be a lot faster than trial and error :-) A good digital
> voltmeter can sometimes help diagnosing a power supply problem. Other than
> that it's a matter of replacing parts. The more experience you have the more
> likely you are to get it right with the first part. To diagnose motherboards
> can get a little expensive. It's easier to replace everything else one at a
> time to eliminate them until the only thing left is the motherboard.
>
> Kerry Brown
> KDB Systems

Actually POST Diagnostic Cards DO WORK. The only catch is that unless
one has the correct list of error codes for the BIOS of the motherboard
in question the interpretation of the two digit hexadecimal error code
could be bogus. Check out http://www.bioscentral.com or even better,
get yourself a copy of Phil Croucher's "BIOS Companion" at
http://www.electrocution.com or at http://www.amazon.com
Also knowing the correct post port in the memory map helps. It could
be 80 hex, 84 hex etc. After all, if POST Diagnostic cards do not work,
then why do Intel, Award, AMI, IBM, HP/Compaq, Dell and other BIOS
designers include POST error/debug codes in the BIOS for decades in
addition features in the chipset that allow POST error codes to cross
the PCI bridge if it is turned off (in the chipset). The better and more
expensive POST diagnostic cards also work without the PCI-clock bus signal.
I have used PCI Diagnostic cards successfully since 1987, but without
some background in Electronics and PC architecture the two digit
hexadecimal error code lists don't mean much to the average person or
to a basic technician who is only taught how to swap out components
at the customer's expense. Granted, there is a trade-off between repairing
and replacing, but this is where a POST Diagnostic card helps to speed
up the job IF used correctly. BTW engine computers in your car are not
much different, the driver may only see the "Chuck Engine" light, but
your mechanic can pull the trouble code off the engine computer. Again
the trouble code won't tell him/her what to replace, but will point to
where to start to diagnose the problem.
March 4, 2005 11:26:16 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

F.D.W.,

Well, that is good news to hear. Why would Kerry say a TechAid would not
help? Maybe he's trying to solicit business for his company in a subtle way
since he's got his company name under his name.

What you said makes sense. I can understand there are different variables
involved in troubleshooting a mobo, but I know it does not take rocket
scientist to translate Bio codes.


"F.D.W." <fdwilson@excite.com> wrote in message
news:9b559ae7.0503040728.6b380182@posting.google.com...
> "Kerry Brown" <kerry@kdbNOSPAMsystems.c*o*m> wrote in message
news:<#nZ5Ha4HFHA.896@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl>...
> > "Ryan" <Ryan@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
> > news:B5170A8A-D94D-46B9-A2CB-04BEEA8F948B@microsoft.com...
> > > Does anyone know the name of that troubleshooting product Newegg.com
> > > sells?
> > > It's suppose to tell if you have a dead mobo.
> > >
> > > I need to figure out if I have a dead mobo.
> >
> > I've never seen a PCI diagnostic card that actually helped diagnose
> > anything. I've tried every brand I could find. I hope someone proves me
> > wrong. It would sure be a lot faster than trial and error :-) A good
digital
> > voltmeter can sometimes help diagnosing a power supply problem. Other
than
> > that it's a matter of replacing parts. The more experience you have the
more
> > likely you are to get it right with the first part. To diagnose
motherboards
> > can get a little expensive. It's easier to replace everything else one
at a
> > time to eliminate them until the only thing left is the motherboard.
> >
> > Kerry Brown
> > KDB Systems
>
> Actually POST Diagnostic Cards DO WORK. The only catch is that unless
> one has the correct list of error codes for the BIOS of the motherboard
> in question the interpretation of the two digit hexadecimal error code
> could be bogus. Check out http://www.bioscentral.com or even better,
> get yourself a copy of Phil Croucher's "BIOS Companion" at
> http://www.electrocution.com or at http://www.amazon.com
> Also knowing the correct post port in the memory map helps. It could
> be 80 hex, 84 hex etc. After all, if POST Diagnostic cards do not work,
> then why do Intel, Award, AMI, IBM, HP/Compaq, Dell and other BIOS
> designers include POST error/debug codes in the BIOS for decades in
> addition features in the chipset that allow POST error codes to cross
> the PCI bridge if it is turned off (in the chipset). The better and more
> expensive POST diagnostic cards also work without the PCI-clock bus
signal.
> I have used PCI Diagnostic cards successfully since 1987, but without
> some background in Electronics and PC architecture the two digit
> hexadecimal error code lists don't mean much to the average person or
> to a basic technician who is only taught how to swap out components
> at the customer's expense. Granted, there is a trade-off between repairing
> and replacing, but this is where a POST Diagnostic card helps to speed
> up the job IF used correctly. BTW engine computers in your car are not
> much different, the driver may only see the "Chuck Engine" light, but
> your mechanic can pull the trouble code off the engine computer. Again
> the trouble code won't tell him/her what to replace, but will point to
> where to start to diagnose the problem.
Anonymous
March 5, 2005 12:41:02 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

> Well, that is good news to hear. Why would Kerry say a TechAid would not
> help? Maybe he's trying to solicit business for his company in a subtle
> way
> since he's got his company name under his name.
>
> What you said makes sense. I can understand there are different variables
> involved in troubleshooting a mobo, but I know it does not take rocket
> scientist to translate Bio codes.
>

Ryan

I was not trying to drum up business. I don't do repairs via long distance
for remuneration. I stand by what I said. I have used similar products and
not found them worth the money. They take longer to use and interpet the
results than to fix the problem. Yes they will tell you what the last POST
code was. Yes they will tell you if the power supply voltage is usually
good. No they don't measure voltage drops or spikes, e.g when a hard drive
spins up. Knowing the POST code and using it to help diagnose can sometimes
be useful. The problem is a there are a lot of cheap motherboards on the
market that don't use standard POST codes or ports. You spend a lot of time
on wild goose chases thinking the code was one thing when it was something
altogether different. In the mean time you could have already fixed the
problem with a couple of easy troubleshooting steps. I could be wrong. I'm
certainly open to persuasion. If anyone else wants to comment on if they
have found PCI diagnostic cards useful in everyday repairs please speak up.

Kerry Brown
KDB Systems
March 5, 2005 6:23:14 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Well Kerry, based on what you and F.D.W. have said, it's obvious that each
persons experiences tell more than just one side of the story of how to
diagnose hardware failures.

With me being fairly new into this, I was looking for the best way of
figuring it out on my own without taking it to a shop and spending all kinds
of money.

"Kerry Brown" <kerry@kdbNOSPAMsystems.c*o*m> wrote in message
news:uzeiQXUIFHA.4032@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
>> Well, that is good news to hear. Why would Kerry say a TechAid would not
>> help? Maybe he's trying to solicit business for his company in a subtle
>> way
>> since he's got his company name under his name.
>>
>> What you said makes sense. I can understand there are different variables
>> involved in troubleshooting a mobo, but I know it does not take rocket
>> scientist to translate Bio codes.
>>
>
> Ryan
>
> I was not trying to drum up business. I don't do repairs via long distance
> for remuneration. I stand by what I said. I have used similar products and
> not found them worth the money. They take longer to use and interpet the
> results than to fix the problem. Yes they will tell you what the last POST
> code was. Yes they will tell you if the power supply voltage is usually
> good. No they don't measure voltage drops or spikes, e.g when a hard drive
> spins up. Knowing the POST code and using it to help diagnose can
> sometimes be useful. The problem is a there are a lot of cheap
> motherboards on the market that don't use standard POST codes or ports.
> You spend a lot of time on wild goose chases thinking the code was one
> thing when it was something altogether different. In the mean time you
> could have already fixed the problem with a couple of easy troubleshooting
> steps. I could be wrong. I'm certainly open to persuasion. If anyone else
> wants to comment on if they have found PCI diagnostic cards useful in
> everyday repairs please speak up.
>
> Kerry Brown
> KDB Systems
>
>
Anonymous
March 5, 2005 9:37:18 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

> Well Kerry, based on what you and F.D.W. have said, it's obvious that each
> persons experiences tell more than just one side of the story of how to
> diagnose hardware failures.
>
> With me being fairly new into this, I was looking for the best way of
> figuring it out on my own without taking it to a shop and spending all
> kinds of money.
>

Ryan

Guess it just shows how complex diagnosing PC problems can be. :-)

Hope you get yours fixed. Let us know how it goes. If you get the TechAid
and it helps I would really like to know. I'm always looking for another
tool that makes my job easier.

Kerry
Anonymous
March 5, 2005 6:26:06 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

"Kerry Brown" <kerry@kdbNOSPAMsystems.c*o*m> wrote in message news:<uzeiQXUIFHA.4032@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl>...

[snip, snip]

> If anyone else wants to comment on if they have found PCI diagnostic
> cards useful in everyday repairs please speak up.

[snip, snip]

I don't know about others in this forum, but most of the authors of the
standard texts on PC repair and A+ training are advocates of POST Diagnostic
cards or debug cards. If one searches the motherboard specific newsgroups
and the A+ newsgroup in the google groups archive, you'll notice that
the forum participants who posses an in-depth understanding of PC hardware
do promote POST diagnostic cards as a useful tool. These would be the
participants who modify, REPAIR (other than just replacing modules) and
overclock motherboard hardware on a regular basis. A POST diagnostic
card is just one of a multitude of diagnostic tools an experienced
technician would be using.

Another inexpensive tool is a multimeter, most technicians just use it to
measure DC voltage, but another important test is to measure the AC ripple
voltage on the DC rails. One also should use an oscilloscope to see how
"clean" the power supply rails are (look for PSU switching noise and spikes).
Look both at the power supply (PSU) output and at various strategic points
throughout the system. This electrical low frequency noise and high frequency
noise affects certain motherboard subsystems more than others. Random memory
errors are one example (not as a result of bad memory, but as a result
of failing capacitors, oxidised contacts etc.). Without an expensive
oscilloscope to see the high frequency electrical noise one can use a
POST diagnostic card to see the secondary effects. A "noisy" PSU may have
perfectly OK DC voltage levels. The type of electronic component used to
limit and absorb noise and spikes throughout your PC are capacitors. It may
not even be capacitor deterioration in the PSU, the lack of noise filtering
may come from deteriorated capacitors in other subassemblies of your PC. A
PCI post card or any other diagnostic tool is only as good as the understanding
of person using it. That is, the understanding of the technology and its limits.

Note that POST Diagnostic cards are becoming more widely available. Vendors
would not stock or sell POST Diagnostic cards if there is no market or no use
for them. A note of caution to Ryan, the manuals that come with most post
diagnostic cards and that come with mulimeters just explain the basic functions
of the device and assume that the user has a technical background with knowledge
on how to use the tool. So get yourself some of the better books on the subject
that are published by Sybex, O'Riley, Que and others.
Anonymous
March 5, 2005 9:59:03 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

> I don't know about others in this forum, but most of the authors of the
> standard texts on PC repair and A+ training are advocates of POST
> Diagnostic
> cards or debug cards. If one searches the motherboard specific newsgroups
> and the A+ newsgroup in the google groups archive, you'll notice that
> the forum participants who posses an in-depth understanding of PC hardware
> do promote POST diagnostic cards as a useful tool. These would be the
> participants who modify, REPAIR (other than just replacing modules) and
> overclock motherboard hardware on a regular basis. A POST diagnostic
> card is just one of a multitude of diagnostic tools an experienced
> technician would be using.
>
> Another inexpensive tool is a multimeter, most technicians just use it to
> measure DC voltage, but another important test is to measure the AC ripple
> voltage on the DC rails. One also should use an oscilloscope to see how
> "clean" the power supply rails are (look for PSU switching noise and
> spikes).
> Look both at the power supply (PSU) output and at various strategic points
> throughout the system. This electrical low frequency noise and high
> frequency
> noise affects certain motherboard subsystems more than others. Random
> memory
> errors are one example (not as a result of bad memory, but as a result
> of failing capacitors, oxidised contacts etc.). Without an expensive
> oscilloscope to see the high frequency electrical noise one can use a
> POST diagnostic card to see the secondary effects. A "noisy" PSU may have
> perfectly OK DC voltage levels. The type of electronic component used to
> limit and absorb noise and spikes throughout your PC are capacitors. It
> may
> not even be capacitor deterioration in the PSU, the lack of noise
> filtering
> may come from deteriorated capacitors in other subassemblies of your PC. A
> PCI post card or any other diagnostic tool is only as good as the
> understanding
> of person using it. That is, the understanding of the technology and its
> limits.
>
> Note that POST Diagnostic cards are becoming more widely available.
> Vendors
> would not stock or sell POST Diagnostic cards if there is no market or no
> use
> for them. A note of caution to Ryan, the manuals that come with most post
> diagnostic cards and that come with mulimeters just explain the basic
> functions
> of the device and assume that the user has a technical background with
> knowledge
> on how to use the tool. So get yourself some of the better books on the
> subject
> that are published by Sybex, O'Riley, Que and others.

Thanks for your reply. I agree with you in theory. I used to use an
oscilloscope and logic probe to diagnose problems. I used to use a couple of
different POST diagnostic cards as well. They were a lot more than $34.95
back then :-) That was when the average PC cost over $5,000.00. I could
afford to spend a bit of time to properly diagnose a problem. It was normal
to charge $50.00 for an estimate. Most people won't pay for the time and
effort involved to properly diagnose and repair a PC now. Estimates are free
or the customer is out the door. It is much quicker and cheaper to just
replace parts. With any amount of experience you spend a few minutes talking
to the customer, a few minutes hooking up the PC to a known good monitor,
and give the customer an estimate based on your best guess. About 90% of the
time you are right. The other 10% you lose a bit of money but have a happy
customer. Unfortunately with new PC's running under $500.00 not many people
want to pay more than $200.00 to repair an old one. In Ryan's case I would
have guessed a PSU. It looks like I would have been wrong. I would have
spent an hour or so figuring out what the real problem was, given him
another estimate at no charge and let him take it from there.

Also without training and experience I still think a POST diagnostic card
wouldn't be much use.

Kerry
!